Tag Archives: CL Bledsoe

“Dance” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

The Dancers - Fernando Botero
The Dancers – Fernando Botero, 1987

“Dance” is one of five wry yet poignant poems by CL Bledsoe in our Summer 2015 issue, which you can order online via Amazon and Createspace. Copies are also available at fine independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop.

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WE WERE ALL BEAUTIFUL ONCE,
some will be again if we
remember to let ourselves.

Grow your hair long to hide those
scars on your neck, your shoulders;
one day, when no one suspects,

cut it short and see that they’ve
faded. My neighbor only
smiles when she thinks no one can

see, walking her dog, alone
in her car. She’s beautiful
in a way that makes me want

to lose 50 pounds and ask
her to dance. I don’t even
have any interesting

shoes anymore; just nice ones.
The days used to mean so much.
Now, it’s all turn signals, slow

dryers. I’m not making sense;
this girl, she’s not exactly
pretty. I just want to dance.

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HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

“Nice Things” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

Back Room - John French Sloan, 1912
Back Room – John French Sloan, 1912

“Nice Things” is one of five wry yet poignant poems by CL Bledsoe in our Summer 2015 issue, which you can order online via Amazon and Createspace. Copies are also available at fine independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop.

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MY IDOLS HAVE ALL GONE BALD OR TAKEN
day jobs. It was a question of wear-

and-tear on tire treads, the desire
to no longer wince when introduced.

Shoulders stoop under the weight
of freedom, all that designer pizza and cheap

beer, and I’ve finally run out of cool tee-shirts.
Listen: I know the real money’s in pet

psychiatry but I’ve always been allergic
to their saliva. I know there’s nothing

to be gained from an understanding
of the self, a concern for actually solving

problems, the wisdom to attempt empathy.
There are no important things in life except

the fear we might be the last ones in the room
when the bar closes.

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

“How to Confuse an Idiot (Turn Over)” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

Nephi Grigg, Tater Tots Inventor & Ore-Ida Founder By Gibchan (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Nephi Grigg, Tater Tots Inventor & Ore-Ida Founder – Photo by Gibchan (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

“How to Confuse an Idiot (Turn Over)” is one of five wry yet poignant poems by CL Bledsoe in our Summer 2015 issue, which you can order online via Amazon and Createspace. Copies are also available at fine independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop.

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A LIFE CAN BE LIVED ON TATER TOTS AND IGNORING
hopelessness, which means never looking
in the mirror, the sky, the colored waters

of others’ eyes unless you smell your own
death. Shush. Ketchup is enough luxury
to compensate for heaven. I’m not lazy,

I just don’t believe life is worth enough
to beg for more when no one’s listening
anyway. If you need more, there

are always food trucks, frozen pizzas,
cheesecake in a tub. They all feel close
enough to real to fool the apathetic soul.

This is a calendar life, you may say,
but no one will listen. I’ve tried. The best
you can hope for is mustard for your corndog.

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

“Leaving Wisconsin” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

Is Your Life Sweet? - Lygia Pape, 1996
Is Your Life Sweet? – Lygia Pape, 1996

“Leaving Wisconsin” is one of five wry yet poignant  poems by CL Bledsoe in our Summer 2015 issue, which you can order online via Amazon and Createspace. Copies are also available at fine independent brick-and-mortar stores like Bluestockings and St. Mark’s Bookshop.

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THERE’S A HOLE IN MY SOUL THAT
can only be filled by corn
syrup and processed sugars;

the sticky things comfort me.
Preservatives keep feelings
from festering while sitting

on some cobwebbed shelf. I don’t
know when the hotpockets will
reach bottom but I’ve got to

keep pouring them down until
they do. Otherwise, how will
I ever climb out? You don’t

understand; if I lost weight,
people would just want to screw
me. And then, where would I be?

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

“Firelighters” – Poetry by CL Bledsoe

The Flame (Goddess of Fire) - Odilon Redon, 1896
The Flame (Goddess of Fire) – Odilon Redon, 1896

The haunting yet humorous “Firelighters” is one of 5 fantastic poems by CL Bledsoe in our sultry Summer 2015 issue.

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I’VE BEEN SAVING THIS STASH OF GASOLINE for a girl
with a lighter like yours. Delilah, let’s burn
the night down and root out the monsters.
Their fur will singe so pungently. The crackle
of flames will engulf the sounds of their incessant
talking, talking, talking. Nobody has to get hurt,
they just have to shut up and get out of our way.

I should’ve lit it myself, years ago, but I thought
there might be something worthwhile in hiding,
watching the moon, whatever it is I’ve been doing
all these years. There may well be, but not for me.
Delilah, let’s hold hands while we lob grenades
into the windows of decadence. Afterwards,
we’ll roast s’mores over the coals and tell stories

about the times we died, our mothers died,
our fathers died, everyone we’ve ever loved,
died. One thing: monsters don’t burn as bright
as the stories say. I’ll bring a flashlight.
I’ve thought this through. You can trust me.

{ X }

HeadshotCL BLEDSOE is the author of a dozen books, most recently the poetry collection Riceland and the novel Man of Clay. He lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.